Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bulletin 227 - Costa Rica #7 - Trogons, Toucans and others

Trogons are a small (43 species) worldwide tropical family of colorful medium sized forest birds. 2 species occur in Southeast Arizona. 10 species can be found in Costa Rica.

The male Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus) is a 9" green headed bird with a black throat and yellow breast and bill. The long square tail is finely barred black and white. The eye ring is blue. The female (not shown) is duller with a brown head.

Black-throated Trogon - male
The 10" male Collared Trogon (Trogon collaris) has a dark green head, the belly is red and it has a white collar.

Collared Trogon - male

The female has a brown head and back.

Collared Trogon - female
The 12" male Slaty-tailed Trogon (Trogon massena) has a green head, red belly, orange-red bill and plain gray tail.

Slaty-tailed Trogon - male
Quetzals are 6 members of the trogon family with more elaborate plumages. The   male Resplendant Quetzal (Pharomacrus mocinno) is a 14" trogon with 4 very long tail feathers (up to 30"). This bird is considered by many to be the most beautiful bird in the world. It was sacred to the Mayans and is the national bird of Guatemala and their currency is called the quetzal. It has a green head and back, bushy crest, red belly and yellow beak. Notice also the green feathers that cover the wings.

Resplendant Quetzal - male
And a frontal view.

Resplendant Quetzal - male
The female has a gray belly and lacks the crest and long tail feathers.

Resplendant Quetzal - female
The toucans are a neotropical family of birds familiar to everyone because of their large colorful beaks. The sexes are similar. The Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) is a 22" toucan with bicolored bill (yellow and dark brown). This bird flew to this bare tree at dawn each morning at La Selva, and played the role of a rooster to get everyone up.

Black-mandibled Toucan

Aracaris are smaller toucans with more pointed bills. the 16" Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) has a whitish upper mandible, yellow belly and a band across it.

Collared Aracari

Toucanets, as the name suggests, are smaller toucans. The 12" Blue-throated Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus caeruleogularis) is green bodied with a brown head, a bicolored bill and blue throat.

Blue-throated Toucanet

Jacamars are another small (18 species) neotropical family of birds. They have long pointed bills and look like large hummingbirds. The 9" Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda) is green with rufous belly and undertail and a very long black bill. This is a male. The female is duller with a beige rather than white throat.

Rufous-tailed Jacamar - male
Puffbirds are another small (37 species) neotropical family of mostly black and white or brown and white birds. They eat insects and small reptiles or amphibians. The 6" Pied Puffbird (Notharcus tectus) has a black head and body, white underparts and a black band across the breast. These birds sit quietly are are very difficult to find.

Pied Puffbird

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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